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Prob-eye-therapy: Insects on your eyes can be used to cure the illness …

You may be aware of the idea that microbes – fungi, bacteria and viruses – accumulate in your intestine and skin.It is important that you remain healthy. But did you know that your eyes also had a unique microbial regimen? Together they call it eye microbiomeWhen these microbes are out of balance– too many or too few specific types – eye diseases may appear.

In a recent study that shows bacteria living on the surface of the eye and stimulating immunity, scientists are beginning to discover the microbial factors that are needed to develop innovative therapies for a variety of eye diseases, such as dry eye disease. Sjögren syndrome and scarring of the cornea. One day, it is possible to develop bacteria for the treatment of human eye disease.

I'm an immunologist who investigates how the eyes prevent infections. I was interested in this area because people only have two eyes and understanding how bacteria affect immunity can be the key to avoiding up to one million visits to a doctor due to eye infections and $ 174 million a year in the US alone. to save.

Eye close up stock getty
Representative image: green, blue and purple iris. A colorful human eye.
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about microbiome

In the debate on microbiomeMost scientists usually think about the intestine and rightly so. Researchers think the colon can more than 10 trillion of bacteriaIn this context more attention is now devoted to the effects microbiome in other places, including Skin and areas with very little bacteria such as lungs, vagina and eyes.

In the last decade, role microbiome in eye health was controversial, Scientists believe that healthy eyes lack organized microbiome, Research has shown that bacteria from the air, hands or edges of the lids can be present in the eye. However, many believed that these microbes were simply killed or washed with constant tear flow.

Scientists have recently come to the conclusion that the eye actually has a "core". microbiome which depends on it Age, geographical region, ethnicity, wear contact lenses and condition. "Core" is limited to four types of bacteria staphylococci. diphtheroids. Propionibacterium acnes and streptococci. Apart from these bacteria, the torque Teno virusincluded in some intraocular Diseases are also counted as core members microbiome as it is present on the surface of the eye 65 percent of healthy persons.

This suggests that physicians should take better care of the risks and benefits of health microbiome when prescribing antibiotics. Antibiotics can kill bacteria that are useful for the eye.

In a recent study that lasted more than ten years and involved more than 340,000 patients in the United States, the authors found that antibiotics were used to treat 60 percent of cases of acute conjunctivitis (pink eye). But viral infections are the most likely causes of pink eyes and can not be treated with antibiotics. More invasive, even bacterial cases often disappear within 7 to 10 days without interventionIt is well known that excessive or unsuitable use of antibiotics can affect the effect microbiomeleads to Infection, autoimmunity, and even cancer.

Discovery of an eye colonizing microbe

In the past decade, eye evaluations have been studied microbiome and the disease flourished. They have created a huge amount of data, but most are correlative. This means that certain bacteria are associated with certain diseases, such as: Sjögren syndrome or bacterial keratitisHowever, it is not known if these bacteria cause these diseases.

During my stay at the National Eye Institute, I used mice to see whether the bacteria on the surface of the eye can stimulate the immune response to protect the eye from dying of pathogens such as bacteria Pseudomonas aeuruginosa.

In 2016 immunologist Rachel Caspi At the National Eye Institute and I assume that protective bacteria live near or in the eye. In fact, we have found a resident bacterium, Corynebacterium mastitidis (C. jarbol) that stimulates immune cells to produce and release antimicrobial factors that kill harmful tear-based microbes.

Through a series of experiments, Caspi laboratory first showed a causal link between C. jarbol and protective immune response. when C. jarbol on the surface of the eye, mice were more resistant to two types of bacteria known to cause blindness: Candida Albikaner and Pseudomonas aeuruginosa.

Now we want to use this relationship in my lab C. jarbol and immunity to the eyes, to develop new infections that prevent infections and potentially fight against common diseases such as dry eye disease.

Development of microbes to improve eye health

The first step in the development of such therapies is to discover how bacteria colonize the eye. To do this, my lab works with Campbell Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh, which has one of the largest collections of human eye bacteria in the country. Using our unique experimental setup with mice and advanced genetic analysis, we can use this microbial library to identify the specific factors required to colonize the surface of the microorganism's eye.

Then with ophtalmologists and optometrists in UPMC eye centerWe begin to analyze immune definitions in the eyes of healthy and sick patients. We hope to use this technology as a new diagnostic tool to fight the pathogens instead of immediately curing broad-spectrum antibiotics that also kill good germs.

One of our comprehensive goals is a genetically modified bacterium that colonizes the eyes and acts as a means for long-term delivery to the eye surface. It has been shown that genetically modified bacteria in the intestine facilitate diseases such as colitis.

We hope this is newlipTherapy would serve to secretion of immunoregulatory factors, which is with the disease Dry eye disease, which affects about 4 million people every year in the United States.

Much more can be learned in this field of development before physicians can start manipulating the eye microbiome Fight against the disease. But maybe one day, instead of just injecting eye drops into your dry eyes, you inject a solution with some bacteria that colonize your eye and grab lubricants and other factors that your body does not have. Stay with us.

Tony St. Leger is an assistant professor of ophthalmology and immunology at the University of Pittsburgh.

This article was re-released in a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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